While most people would prefer to celebrate their birthdays in an intimate setting with a close group of friends, it seems that increasingly more politicians are having their birthdays announced in the form of banners and hoardings across the city, courtesy their loyal followers. The latest of which were seen this week, celebrating the birthday of Nitesh Rane.
Despite Rane claiming that the banners, put up “out of emotion”, would be removed by Sunday, MiD DAY still found enormous hoardings, banners and posters in the city yesterday. Rane said, “Hoardings wishing leaders have been put a lot of times in the city and even if people have put them up, it’s only out of emotion. I have instructed that they be removed by Sunday, and not be like other parties that leave them for the BMC to remove.”
The hoardings, banners and posters wishing Nitesh Rane were put up by his followers and members of Rane’s Swabhiman Sanghatana. A senior BMC official from the H-West Ward department said, “He lives in the area, due to which huge hoardings have been put up projecting him and wishing him on his birthday. The commercial ones have been paid for but the banners and posters in the interiors are illegal as they do not have any copy of receipt stuck on them.” He further informed that they would be removed on Monday by the department.
While another senior official from the BMC’s licence department said, “We cannot catch or fine anyone putting up these hoardings, as they work mainly at night and when we try to remove them, the party workers assault us.”
BMC’s standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said, “It was he who was reiterating that the Shiv Sena puts up illegal hoardings, and I could see 10 on just one street wishing him on his birthday. He should practice what he preaches, and tell his party workers also. Every now and then he blames Shiv Sena for putting up banners and hoardings for wishing Balasaheb Thackeray or any other leader but this time there were very few banners as compared to previous years.”
BMC’s licence superintendent SS Bande was unavailable for comment. Minal Mestry, a resident of Khar said, “While travelling to Bandra from Mahim, all we see is Nitesh Rane on huge hoardings near the skywalk. He or his admirers should use the money for public good rather than just waste it for unnecessary publicity.”